Cool and unusual hotels in London

Top 20 cool and unusual hotels in London 2021

A grand metropolis and one of the world’s greatest cities, London is an eclectic mix of many different cultures and powerful music, art and design scenes. Sometimes gritty, but with many pockets of true originality, quirkiness and English eccentricity – the city doesn’t tend to disappoint its many visitors. As well as being huge London fans we are also very proud to call the city home, so after many hours exploring the UK capital we have selected our collective favourite cool, unique and trendy London hotels – in no particular order – that reflect the city’s taste for the original, the extraordinary and the impeccably designed…

Table of Contents

Qbic Hotel London City – cool cuboids rule

A cool and unique place to stay in London

Qbic -a cool and unique place to stay in London

Is your usual hotel stay a little on the dull side? Well sleeping in a ‘Cubi’ will offer the perfect antidote! The long-awaited 3.5 star and now increasingly popular Qbic Hotel has arrived in London hot on the heels of the popular Amsterdam original and turns a budget stay into a seriously fun and funky London hotel experience.

What’s a Cubi you may ask? Well, the cute looking ergonomically – designed cuboid sleeping station comes with a comfortable bed and a 32-inch flat-screen TV handily attached. Rooms also feature a modern shower room, black-out curtains, and even sound-proofing to ensure an undisturbed night’s sleep.

During our stay, we found ourselves based in the very in-vogue East central areas of Brick Lane and Shoreditch where there are hip cafés, bars, and restaurants galore (and yet still only a 15-20 minute tube ride to the centre for major tourist attractions). Oh, and it’s also one of the greenest hotels in London so you can stay here completely guilt-free, could this very cool London hotel get any better..?

Sunborn London – an upscale moored unique yacht hotel

A unique yacht hotel in London

A cool and unique place to stay in London

For a classy London stay that really is different from the norm, look no further the magnificent Sunborn Hotel. The four to five-star hotel/yacht is part of a new breed of yacht hotels that have been dotted over the world. Their highly rated London version enjoys a privileged position moored in the Docklands just across from the ExCel London convention centre and connected to the city centre via the Docklands Light Railway and a 20-minute train ride (and is also close to the O2 Centre and Canary Wharf).

High-tech and high-spec, the Sunborn has impossibly sleek exteriors and interiors which are the epitome of luxury, with an elegant Art Deco feel – think shiny brass railings, lashings of teak wood panelling, a showy spiral staircase and sparkling chandeliers. Classic rooms feature en-suite bathrooms, flat-screen TVs Wi-Fi, and touch-pad room controls.

Opt for an upgrade and expect balconies and river views or splash out on a suite that comes with lounges, jacuzzis, saunas and some even have decks. All of this plus a cool sleek bar and a modern-day spa, yet prices start at only £70 a night, pretty fabulous really! 

nHow Hotel – a lifestyle concept and one of the most Instagrammable hotels in London

An Instagrammable hotel in London

A cool Instagrammable hotel in London

More of a very cool concept than a hotel, nHow started its well-received hotel chain in Berlin and quickly branched out into other major European cities. Easily one of the most Instagrammable hotels in London, the inspirational ‘lifestyle’ hotel wants you to experience music, art, fashion, and architecture all rolled into one!

Located in one of London’s most creative areas (just a 10-minute walk from Angel tube station), London’s version combines the capital’s oldest traditions and community values with its technological future and the result is something really quite special! Expect trendy and colourful high-end style with graffiti-style art and funky rooms which provide flat-screen TVs, minifridges, and an onsite gym, restaurants, and even free bike loans.

The Hoxton Hotel – a cool and quirky urban country lodge

The Hoxton Hotel - a cool and quirky urban country lodge

The Hoxton Hotel - a cool and quirky urban hotel in London

With a funky urban lodge style – think open fireplaces, classic leather furniture, exposed brickwork, and the occasional faux moose head – and an unbeatable buzzy atmosphere, the much loved and highly rated 4- star Hoxton Hotel Shoreditch epitomises the trendy urban cool of Hoxton itself (a hip neighbourhood area of the city only a short tube or bus ride from London’s centre) but with surprisingly competitive prices.

The ethos is simple: the rooms are a base from which to work and play in this lively part of the city and the modern hotel rooms are stylish, intentionally fuss-free, and functional – but always with a canny and playful eye for details. Our room, for example, had a funky Shoreditch-inspired bicycle emblazoned on the wall and we could also fill the minibar with beers and wines sold at supermarket prices at the front desk.

When we woke we found a small brown paper bag filled with breakfast treats left outside the door and other lovely touches included plush linens, zingy toiletries, and a rain shower in the bathroom. Oh and that’s not forgetting the complimentary Wi-Fi is and an hour’s worth of local phone calls, for London that’s not bad at all!

The Good Hotel – a hip floating community hotel

The Good Hotel - a hip floating community hotel

The Good Hotel - a hip floating community hotel in London

Good by name, good by nature. This innovative and ultra-trendy floating hotel is unlike any other hotel stay in London. Moored at Royal Victoria Dock, and only a 6-minute walk to the nearest station (the Royal Victoria light rail station which will connect you to all the city centre attractions via a 20 minutes train ride) the 4-star Good Hotel is already highly rated has a hip community vibe – all profits are ploughed back into the business which offers jobs to long-term unemployed people in the local area.

If that’s not enough of a reason to say (and in our books, it’s more than enough!) then the industrial style Dutch-modern decor, free WiFi, communal spaces which encourage social interaction, water views and cool rooftop terrace complete with a lush lawn and a bar will probably convince you. A real gem of a place and easily one of the coolest hotels in London! 

Leman Locke – a slice of London hipster lifeA beautiful apartment hotel in London

A cool and beautiful apartment hotel in London

From the moment you walk into 4-star highly rated Leman Locke you know the owners have seriously good taste. Oozing luxury and style with bags of personality thrown in, this 22-floor chic London apartment hotel doesn’t just offer a place to stay, it offers a slice of the hipster London lifestyle into the bargain! Located on the easterly edge of London’s Square Mile, within a stone’s throw of Aldgate East tube station (which will easily take you into the very centre via a short tube ride) and the most creative and vibrant areas of Hoxton, Shoreditch, and Hackney.

The design at Leman Locke epitomises its uber-trendy surroundings – here uplifting pastel pink upholstering and light wooden floors are beautifully juxtaposed with industrial style furniture. As always though, it’s the little details that count and I adored the high-spec kitchen (which even included a Nutrabullet – nice!), the floor-to-ceiling soundproofed windows, the 24-hour gym, the Purist cocktail bar, and even a yoga mat – yep, they’ve definitely thought of everything! 

The Exhibitionist Hotel – part art gallery, part London boutique hotel

A beautiful art boutique in London

A beautiful art and creative boutique in London

With a name like the Exhibitionist, you know this exceptionally rated trendy London hotel isn’t going to be for wallflower types, although I quickly have to add there’s nothing even the tiniest bit seedy about this place! Set in a row of handsomely restored 18th-century townhouses, this is ultra-hip 5-star boutique hotel has a very elegant and luxurious design, just filed with an Aladdin’s cave of striking contemporary art pieces. The Exhibitionist Hotel is like a communal art gallery of sorts, filled with a mixture of rotating installations as well as set pieces of art (including a gigantic marble bull guarding door and an imposing mannequin/lamp residing in the bar).

Located in the highly sought area of upscale central location of Kensington (only a 4-minute walk from South Kensington tube station and 6 minutes’ walk from the Victoria and Albert Museum and opposite the Natural History Museum), the trendsetting London abode also features colourful individually decorated rooms complete with flat-screen TVs, iPads and free Wi-Fi, as well as bathrooms with underfloor heating and rainfall showers.

Opt for an upgraded room and you’ll find balconies and/or whirlpool baths and the gorgeously plush suites have rooftop terraces and separate living rooms. Aside from the fabulously funky decor and the contemporary gallery, there’s also an onsite fashionable restaurant, a cool bar, and a (non-exhibitionist!) spa too.

Mama Shelter – reasonably priced eclectic and quirky fun perfect for millennials

Mama Shelter - reasonably priced eclectic and quirky fun

Mama Shelter London - eclectic and quirky fun

The cool and quirky Mama Shelter Hotel brand began its life in Paris, it then quickly spread its wings internationally due to its huge popularity. It now has it’s very own English version and this trendy and highly regarded 4-star London hotel has quickly become one of the best unique accommodation options in the capital. Both funky and friendly, Mama Shelter London is an eclectically decorated modern hotel with a vibrant, fun, and laid-back atmosphere.

Located near lots of cool cafes, pubs, and shops, the hotel is based in an accessible location just 4 minutes away from a train station. The trendy rooms feature complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minifridges and there’s also a trendy onsite restaurant, a lively bar, and even karaoke rooms! Come to mama, you won’t regret it!

The Standard Hotel – a hip London hotel and the place to party for those in the know

The Standard Hotel - a hip London hotel

The Standard Hotel - a hipster London hotel

The Standard Hotel - a hip London hotel with views

The Standard is one of the coolest hotels in New York, well now London is lucky enough to have its very own version. Housed in a Brutalist-style building 1970’s building, the retro/cool theme follows throughout the hotel and has quickly become the place to party (or just been seen!) for those in the know. The hotel group was founded by the same hotelier who founded the Chiltern Firehouse and Chateau Marmont so its credentials are pretty impeccable!

The newly opened and already highly regarded Standard Hotel boasts a vibrant central London location (just across the road from King’s Cross Tube station) and the cool, hip guest rooms feature flat-screen TVs, Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speakers, and minibars. Although if you opt for an upgrade you’ll be getting something extra special with polished suites, terraces and/or outdoor baths.

Onsite facilities include a cool lobby lounge complete with a library, a hip restaurant, a 24-hour gym, and a sound studio that hosts regular live music. A very cool hotel indeed!

Crashpads – live like a Shoreditch hipster

Crashpads - live like a Shoreditch hipster

A cool and unique apartment hotel in London

Live like a true Shoreditch hipster in these gorgeous, newly refurbished loft pads which have two locations in the trendiest part of town (the Mini Lofts are located only an 8-minute walk from Old Street tube station, which will take you into the centre in around 15 minutes and the larger version, the MegaLofts is located a 4-minute walk from Brick Lane and a 7-minute walk from Hoxton Square). Set on the first floor on an elegant Victorian building situated in the heart of the highly fashionable and vibrant cafe and restaurant strewn area of Brick Lane, forgot the name, these beautiful and already impeccably-rated hip apartments,  offer far more than just a place to crash!

The decor at these very cool London pads is exceptional and the place is decked out in a true trendy open-plan loft style with exposed brick walls, new oak floors, cool designer furniture, custom artwork, a new kitchen, a new bathroom complete with rainfall showers and several large Victorian windows ensuring the whole place is bathed in light.

Also throw in iPod docks, wifi, 55inch led flatscreen TVs with full digital channels (inc. Netflix), a cute welcome basket filled with quintessentially English food and voila, you have yourself an absolute London must stay!

The W Hotel – a stunning trendy London hotel which attracts a host of celebrity events

The W Hotel - a stunning trendy London hotel

The W Hotel - a stunning trendy London hotel

The prestigious and much-loved chain brings its own brand of funky chic accommodation to central London. Set just off Leicester Square – in the heart of all the action – the 5-star highly rated W London promises luxury, glamour, and exceptional customer service as part of their exclusive Whatever/Whenever® service. Outside the hotel is encased in a building fronted by an ultra-modern glass facade and is only a few minutes walk from Leicester Square underground station, Piccadilly Circus and Soho. Inside the furnishings are ultra-contemporary and innovative with lashings of colour thrown in – think mood lighting, floor-to-ceiling windows, flashy fittings, streaks of neon and music spilling out from hidden speakers.

The contemporary rooms at this hip London hotel feature custom-made beds, flat-screen TVs, custom artwork, and iPod docks. Upgraded rooms feature DJ stations, whirlpool baths and/or cinemas. Head downstairs to find a sleek cocktail lounge, a Southeast Asian restaurant, a gorgeous spa, and even a nightclub complete with the W’s signature oversized mirrorball – a place to be seen!

Twenty Nevern Square Hotel – a bright and intimate London boutique hotel

A beautiful London boutique hotel

A stunning London boutique hotel

This immaculate and unique London boutique hotel flanks the tranquil gardens of Nevern Square in the highly fashionable area central area of Kensington/Earls Court (and only a 4-minute walk from Earl’s Court Station on the District Line). Housed in a beautifully restored Victorian townhouse with hints of Far Eastern exoticism and lashings of a modern-colonial style, the well-travelled owner of the popular 4-star Twenty Nevern Square Hotel has captured his fondness for all things far-flung and neatly packaged it into this real gem of a hotel.

It’s honestly about as far away from a sterile chain hotel as you can get with sleek marble bathrooms, elaborately carved four-posters, rich red drapes and dark wicker furniture (as well as all the usual mod cons). Patios and a bright airy conservatory also make the most of the peaceful, green surroundings.

Nobu Hotel – a blend of cool modern chic and minimal Japanese tradition

Nobu hotel London - a cool Japanese style hotel

Nobu hotel room London - a cool Japanese style hotel

Aptly located in the trendiest part of London, but maintaining the Japanese innovation and elegance, The Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch brings a balance of fun and luxury to East London. The Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch has 148 rooms each with floor-to-ceiling windows and a 55-inch flat-screen TV with Apple TV and Bluetooth to impress.

However, there is also a traditional Japanese tea set and a minibar, so however you like to relax, there is an option for you. Just a few minutes away from the legendary Brick Lane, so if Japanese cuisine is not to your liking, you can taste some of the finest Indian food found outside of India!

The Pilgrm – a trendy centrally located boutique-style hotel

A trendy boutique hotel in London

A hip boutique hotel in London

A cool boutique hotel in London

A cute and personal boutique-style hotel in a truly fabulous central location. The Westminster borough located a highly-rated 4-star hotel offers exceptional value but still with a touch of luxury, which is actually quite a tall order in London and is probably why it’s quickly become one of the bestselling hotels in the city! The Pilgrm Hotel is housed in a chic Victorian building only a 1-minute walk from Paddington tube (and only 1 mile from Hyde Park), rooms are chic, cosy and compact offering a home-away-from-home oasis in an otherwise bustling area.

Upgraded rooms offer city views and flat-screen TVs and there’s an onsite plush lounge bar servicing up cocktails, freshly pulped juices and international cuisine, and a cosy cafe with trendy exposed stone walls and wood furnishings. A great all-round relaxed but chic accommodation choice in London! 

Motel One – centrally located stylish budget boutique

Motel One - centrally located stylish London budget boutique

Motel One London - centrally located stylish budget boutique

The Motel One Hotel chain (which originated in Germany) have fitted themselves neatly into a gap in the hotel market – they offer good value, lower-cost accommodation but with funky, stylish interiors. The highly-rated trendy London version is one of the most popular hotels in the city, located in Tower Hill, within a short walking distance of quite a few major tourist attractions (including the Tower of London) and only a 3-minute walk from Aldgate tube station.

Each of the stylish rooms at this 3-star hip London hotel comes complete with air conditioning, an en-suite with a shower, flat-screen and retro-inspired stylish decor. Communal areas include a cosy bar adorned with smart plush lounge chairs and a roaring fireplace. Who says budget hotels have to be characterless?

Megaro Hotel – a cool, funky and hip London boutique hotel

Megaro Hotel - a cool, funky and hip London boutique hotel

Megaro Hotel London - a cool, funky and hip London

I just loved this place! The fabulous and very cool 4-star Megaro Hotel is both reasonably priced and perfectly located for Kings Cross Station and easily exploring central London by a very short tube or bus ride. On the outside I was greeted with a colourful mural emblazoned across its Victorian exterior, the reception had very funky decor and super-friendly staff and the rooms were spacious with a high standard of modern decor – which is sadly pretty unusual for London!

There’s an artistic eclectic boutique feel about the place and they also offer family-friendly rooms and larger apartments for longer stays. Expect the trendy rooms to feature large rain showers, free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and the apartments have additional kitchens. The onsite chic restaurant and cool vintage-style bar – which specialises in fabulous cocktails – is another great reason to opt for this trendsetting London hotel. A fabulously funky, great all-rounder! 

K West Hotel and Spa – a fashionable and hip urban retreat in London

K West Hotel and Spa - a fashionable and hip urban retreat in London

K West Hotel and Spa - a hip urban retreat in London

This cool celebrity haunt of a hotel is located in up and coming Shepherd’s Bush, not too far from the popular shopping behemoth Westfields and only a short tube or bus ride away from all London’s central attractions (Shepherd’s Bush tube station is just a short walk away). The former BBC office turned luxurious and popular 4-star hotel has a huge striking glass-fronted exterior which you really wouldn’t be able to miss.

Thanks to its close proximity to nearby music, film, and TV studios, many an A-list celebrity has also passed through its doors and partied in the K West Hotel lounge bar. Once inside this trendy London place you’ll find yourself in a world of chic contemporary interiors, spacious rooms with lots of mod cons, fine dining, and crowd-drawing DJ nights.

Although I think it’s arguably the ultra-modern spa which makes this hotel really stand out – as well as all the usual facilities, it features a hydrotherapy pool and London’s first ‘Snow Paradise‘ a cabin reminiscent of a snowdrift which is chilled to an immune-boosting -15*C which was seriously freezing but yet still somehow managed to be a fun experience, weird! 

M by Montcalm Tech City – a hip modern hotel with tech and gadgets galore

M by Montcalm Tech City - a hip modern hotel with tech and gadgets galore

M by Montcalm Tech City - a hip modern London hotel

A tech geek or just a fan of all things shiny, modern and eh…gadgety? If so then the 5-star M by Montcalm which soars above London’s Tech City and the endless wonders of trendy Shoreditch is London’s newest – and already very popular – modern luxury hotel. The Montcalm hotels are a group of highly regarded luxury London hotels and this one is located in a fabulously cool area but still in a very accessible distance to all London’s major attractions.

Outside, the venue serves as a new architecturally praised landmark in London’s skyline and inside the interiors are not unlike something out of a 1970s science fiction movie – very retro-modern, with lots of lashings of monochrome, free-hanging light installations and LED illuminated corridors.

As well as good-sized rooms, an indoor pool, spa and sauna, a superb 17th-floor restaurant and impeccable customer service, the hip London hotel prides itself on being ultra-high-tech, so expect gadgetry galore (I personally loved the loaner smartphones and in-room touchpad which controlled everything from the bathroom’s underfloor heating to the curtains)! If you think all this would come at a huge cost, well the reasonable room rates might just leave you pleasantly surprised…

Myhotel Bloomsbury – Bloomsbury’s beautiful zen-like oasis

Myhotel Bloomsbury - a chic and unique hotel in London

Myhotel Bloombury is a hip and highly regarded boutique 4-star hotel which offers a sumptuous zen-like sanctuary so you can escape all the city hassles as soon as you enter the front door. Occupying a classic Georgian townhouse on the corner of a fine Bloomsbury terrace you’ll ideally be placed for brainy London and fashionable Fitzrovia but only be a short distance from Tottenham Court Road, Oxford Circus and Covent Garden too just in case you fancy a bit of gratuitous shopping.

Inside this gorgeous London abode, you can expect calming feng shui-designed rooms adorned with a mix of vintage and contemporary furnishings with touches of leather, suede, and silk (as well as all the usual mod cons, including free WiFi) await you. Apartment-style accommodation, an onsite treatment suite, and even a bakery are also available on site. Cute touches indeed!

CitizenM Hotel – fun, funky and full of colour

CitizenM Hotel London - fun, funky and full of colour

CitizenM Hotel - fun, and funky London

A chain hotel like no other this, this hugely popular Dutch hotel group brings its own brand of affordable luxury to London…and what a brand it is! Combining trailblazing technology, an easy-going atmosphere, and a quirky, colourful contemporary design you’ll never want to stay in a bland chain hotel again.

There are no less than three wonderful versions in London – the original is located in central London’s South Bank, only a 7-minute walk of the Tate Modern museum, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre and the Jubilee Line Underground station, The Tower Hill version is just a 7-minute walk from Southwark tube station and Borough Market and the other is based the trendy hipster East central area of Shoreditch is only 12 minutes’ stroll from Liverpool Street tube station (and all are equally as fabulous and highly regarded)!

We entered the front doors at the 4-star CitizenM Bankside and checked ourselves in at modern terminals where affable staff were on hand if we happened to press the wrong buttons. Next, we spotted a huge photograph of Andy Warhol, Penguin paperbacks, one or two skulls, some nudity and a pretty outdoor space. Eclectic indeed. In our bedroom we found ourselves immersed in slightly futuristic surroundings, slumped on the huge comfy bed, gazed at the city views from the floor to ceiling windows, and then played around with our very own MoodPad – a touch-screen device which controls the room’s impressive array of electronics. Like us, you’ll probably never want to leave this hip London hotel!

The Rookery – a beautiful Georgian inspired masterpiece

Unique and beautiful hotel in London

Immediately as I stepped inside this quirky, highly rated 4-star London boutique hotel I felt like I was transported into a time of hat-tipping gents and corseted ladies. The Rookery is housed in originally separate 18th-century houses in trendy Clerkenwell a creative hub of London filled with stylish eateries and cosy gastropubs (and only a short distance from Farringdon Railway Station Barbican Tube Station – both which will run you quickly into the centre).

It was bought and transformed by antique dealers who were instrumental in saving the famous Spitalfields Market and the decor is deliciously ornate featuring antique-furnished, wood-panelled bedrooms with either a 17th-century carved oak or a Victorian four-poster bed. A conservatory with an open fire and an honesty bar and the cosy garden add to the period glamour and endearingly all 33 rooms are named after former inhabitants, so you really do feel like a guest in the Georgian home of a distinguished gentleman – just wonderful!

The Curtain Hotel – a unique hotel brings New York cool to Shoreditch

The Curtain Hotel - a unique hotel in Shoreditch

The Curtain Hotel -a cool hotel in Shoreditch

One of London’s newest hotels is so cool it almost hurts. Not only is the five-star and already highly regarded Curtain Hotel located in the trendiest part of town, it has some superb credentials too. Started by famous New York City hotelier Michael Achenbaum (of the Gansevoort hotel group). His newest hip Shoreditch venture comes complete with original Banksys, Obama’s favourite chef and the first outpost of Red Rooster Harlem restaurant (which is known for its indulgent soul food as well as its Sunday night parties), but also a subterranean members’ club, a wellness area, and a show-stopping rooftop pool.

The swanky hotel is located in the artsy area of London, Shoreditch only an 8-minute walk from Old Street tube station (which will take into the centre in around 15 minutes) and the stylish, exposed brick-walled rooms provide complimentary high-speed Internet, plus flat-screens, minibars, and marble bathrooms complete with rainfall showers or free-standing bathtubs.

This place really doesn’t do things by halves and as well as a trendy taqueria offering up everything from Huevos Rancheros for breakfast through to late-night tacos and tequila, the rooftop terrace with an outdoor pool (which we just have to mention again!) a 24-hour fitness centre, a co-working space which gives the places a buzzy feel. It even hosts is own live music events, including a weekend brunch accompanied by a gospel choir. Now that’s something!

The Andaz – a sleek and modern London hotel meets ornate historical

The Andaz - a sleek and modern London hotel

If you’re wondering where many an A-lister stays while they’re in town, then look no further than the seriously stylish and exceptionally rated five-star Andaz, a place often cited as one of the world’s best hotels. Housed in a historic red-brick Victorian building (which shared the same architect as the Houses of Parliament) in the fabulous City of London location of Liverpool Street (close to the cool areas of Brick Lane and Shoreditch and only a short tube ride from London’s central tourist attractions) this wonderful contemporary London hotel combines sumptuous modern designs with ornate historical features and that’s not forgetting their city-wide reputation for impeccable and personal customer service.

Enter through the doors and affable staff will greet you and check you in with an iPad while you’re offered everything your travelled stomach desires. Then head up to your contemporary minimalistic rooms to find a flat-screen TV, an iPod dock, a deep eco-friendly bath, and a healthy organic mini bar so you can gorge yourself to your heart’s content completely guilt-free.

Oh, and if you throw in no less than seven excellent restaurants and trendy bars, specially curated exhibitions displaying artwork by local artists, yoga, bespoke dining events, random pop-up restaurants and complimentary 24-hour access to the Andaz Fitness and Health Club then it’s no wonder celebrities like Beyonce and Lil Kim are such huge fans!

The Courthouse Hotel – stylish jailhouse chic

A cool and hip themed hotel in London

A cool and hip themed hotel in Shoreditch London

Set in a yep you’ve guessed it – a former courthouse, this is a gorgeous and quirky 5-star London hotel with an intriguing history and oodles of great design features. You’ll find the highly regarded Courthouse Hotel aptly located in the once gritty and fifties gangster-roaming area of London’s East End, which is now a very hip area full of cafés, restaurants, markets and wandering trendy hipsters. It’s based just opposite Shoreditch Town Hall and only a 4 minute from Old Street Underground station (which will take you to London’s major tourist attractions in around 15 minutes).

Set across two Grade II Listed buildings, the old courthouse and police station built in 1903, it still retains some of the original features such as the juvenile courtroom now turned private member’s club and even the prison cells which once held the infamous Kray twins are set off by handsome contemporary furnishings.

The legal prison theme is tastefully followed throughout the hotel and you can also expect dark wood-panelled walls, chain-like light fixtures, and even a jail-themed cocktail menu. All the chic rooms feature all the usual mod cons though and you’ll also find three cool bars (including 1 rooftop) to choose from as well as a cinema and a bowling alley, a spa area, a fine-looking indoor pool, and a gym. Stylish, quirky, and fabulous!

Artist Residence – cool, individual and very creative

A creative boutique hotel in London

A beautiful and arty hotel in London

If you are artistically inclined, then like me you’ll be seriously charmed by the cool and hip 4-star and already very highly rated Artist Residence. Located in lovely Pimlico (a quiet upscale central residential area close to Tate Britain gallery and stylish Chelsea), the whole of this trendy London hotel exudes an eclectic but homely luxury. The innovative owners have had their favourite urban, graphic, and street artists decorate each of the ten rooms and the result is a very impressive collection of creative and colourful bedrooms.

All are genuinely different from one another and are filled with rescued and repurposed furniture – think distressed-wood surfaces, hand-crafted beds and tea chests for bedside tables – and even the smallest rooms are adorned with original art. Heading down to the basement we found a New York speakeasy-inspired cocktail bar serving up artistic drink delights such as Edvard Munch “The Scream” and Andy Warhol “Campbell’s Tomato Soup.” The Artist Residence is a place that breaks all rules, which in our book is just fabulous! 

No 5 Maddox Street – a prestigious Mayfair beauty

A beautiful apartment hotel in London

A beautiful place to stay in London

Large hotels aren’t for everyone and if you’re anything like me and cherish a bit of space and privacy then 5-star No. 5 Maddox St might just be your perfect London option!

It’s an exclusive, all-suite hotel located in a prestigious Mayfair central London location (just off Regent Street, and very near Bond Street, Oxford Circus, Soho and Piccadilly Station) and in fact, has more in common with an apartment – just with a handy onsite 24-hour concierge ready to attend your every whim (well almost!). Inside feels like having your own central chic London pad complete with both space (with one to three bedrooms), modern amenities, and gorgeous contemporary decor. In-room spa treatments are also available – you won’t want to leave!

Bailey’s Hotel – quintessential English elegance

A traditionally English boutique hotel in London

Housed in a beautifully ornate 1876 Victorian townhouse, this immaculately presented and exceptionally rated chic 4-star London hotel really does manage to conjure up a quintessentially English, old-world charm. With a sweeping staircase, intricate stonework and stained glass windows, The Bailey’s Hotel prides itself on its chic but characterful design. Its location is suitably plush too and boasts a fashionable South Kensington address as well as being a short distance to Hyde Park, the Royal Albert Hall, and Kensington Palace.

The onsite restaurant serves up fine Italian cuisine and the trendy bar offers both cocktails and afternoon teas. Think a place like this won’t be family-friendly? Think again! Kids receive free teddy bears and other treats on arrival – a lovely touch indeed!

Church Street Hotel – a cool slice of Havana heaven

A cool budget hotel in London

A funky budget boutique in London

The new owners of this wonderful budget boutique hotel transformed a rundown bed and breakfast into unique and now highly rated London boutique hotel adorned with striking Mexican tiles, colourful painted furniture, Spanish-American religious art, and more than a handful of sugar skills. The end result is something really quite special but amazingly it comes without the huge London designer price tag.

The 3-star Church Street Hotel is located in an up-and-coming South London local neighbourhood (only 10 minutes’ walk from Denmark Hill Overground Station, and a 12-minute bus ride from Oval Tube Station – both will connect you to the city centre via a 25-minute train ride) and as well as benefiting from the colourful and delightfully kitsch decor, we also found ourselves being very warmly welcomed – the owners seem to really value their guests here! Other cute personal touches include a cigar box containing Green and Black’s chocolate, a complimentary jar of hot sauce and lovingly made organic breakfasts. A slice of Havana heaven in Camberwell!

Rough Luxe – designer shabby chic

Rough Luxe - designer shabby chic in London

This is a really unique and highly rated London 4-star boutique hotel which only has nine rooms offering a very intimate stay. And that’s not all – when you are inside Rough Luxe you’ll notice that the walls are peeling, the floorboards are bare and the surfaces are unfinished.

It’s really quite a different feel and you probably won’t know what to think, but then you enter the rooms and you’ll be surprised to see the sumptuous expensive bed linen, designer comforts, and a very unusual design. Located a 2-minute walk from King’s Cross and St. Pancras tube and train stations (so in a very accessible distance to the city centre) I can promise you’ll find the whole experience both very unconventional…and very unforgettable!

Ace Hotel – a cool hotel which also doubles as a hip social hub

The Ace - a cool and hip hotel in London

The Ace - a fun party hotel in London

Fancy a little guitar playing or DJing with your overnight hotel stay? Then look no further than the ridiculously popular 5-star Ace Hotel, perfectly positioned in the capital’s most creative area, this is one of the hippest hotels in town with a vibe that’s hard to beat. The ultra-trendy chain originated in New York but it’s more than a match for the Shoreditch hipsters.

As soon as you step inside this trendy London hotel (where you can easily reach the city centre by a short tube or bus ride) you’ll find minimalist decor, a playful design – with obvious design influences ranging from British punk to the Modernism of Bauhaus – vintage furniture, original artwork, a flat-screen TV – with Ace video on demand – and Revo radios complete with Ace-curated radio stations – we loved this eagle-eyed attention to detail! As well as a well-stocked minibar and complimentary Wi-Fi, you’ll even find some rooms with turntables and a selection of vinyl and acoustic guitars, so you can make sweet music into the night…

The Zetter – a romantic and hip hotel stay in London

The Zetter - a romantic and hip hotel stay in London

Located in the heart of London’s trendy creative neighbourhood Clerkenwell (only a short distance from Farringdon Railway Station Barbican Tube Station – both of which have trains which will run you quickly into the centre), this contemporary and highly regarded 4-star boutique hotel caters to a hip design-loving crowd. Once a Victorian warehouse, now The Zetter houses 59 guest rooms individually designed in a romantic but bold retro-modern style.

Other unique details include a vending machine – which ejects everything from champagne to disposable cameras – on every floor and complimentary spring water taken from the hotel’s very own 1,500ft borehole (yes really). The sophisticated London accommodation has also been commended for its eco-friendly ethos and dedication to providing state of the art technology in every room, a gorgeous modern hotel with a heart – unusual indeed!

Ampersand Hotel – a beautiful and polished boutique hotel and one of the best places to stay in London

Ampersand Hotel - one of the best hotels in London

The Ampersand Hotel is a new modern and already very popular (and highly rated) boutique 5-star London hotel housed in a historic building which enjoys a prestigious location in South Kensington – the central and affluent district of West London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

I fell in love with its gorgeous quirky chic decor and uniquely themed rooms which have all been charmingly inspired by nearby local landmarks – birds for the Natural History Museum, planets for the Science Museum for example. Its colourfully eclectic, French-style drawing room is a true visual feast for the eyes. Other highlights included a vintage-inspired Mediterranean restaurant/cocktail bar, a wine room, a 24-hour gym, and a meeting room equipped with a handy table-tennis table. A truly gorgeous London hotel all round!

Hard Rock Hotel – London’s hotel version of the trendy music memorabilia chain

Hard Rock Hotel - music themed hotel in London

Hard Rock Hotel - a cool music themed hotel in London

Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last couple of decades, you’ve no doubt heard of the Hard Rock chain! Well just to recap, Hard Rock Cafe Inc. started as themed restaurants way back in 1971 and became famous for covering their walls with rock and roll memorabilia. Well fast forward to 2020 and one of London’s newest hotel offerings is the Hard Rock Hotel London which pays homage to former famous musical residents of London such as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan as well as championing the best London’s new music scene has to offer.

The trendy hotel has the same warm vibe and cool decor as all the other chains but also has the added bonus of having a fabulous central London location (only a 2-minute walk from Hyde Park and Oxford Circus). The relaxed but chic rooms offer flat-screen TVs, Nespresso machines, and designer toiletries and upgraded rooms offer details such as private lounge access. Yoga kits, record players, and even guitar rentals. Other onsite amenities include a chic lobby and cocktail bars, a cool cafe, a fitness centre, and a shop. There’s also a funky music memorabilia collection to peruse in any downtime moments! 

Pavilion Rock & Roll Hotel – a quirky London hotel filled with extravagant and flamboyant decor

Quirky hotel in London

If you have an artistic bent of mind, then you are going to love the 3-star Pavilion Fashion Rock’n’Roll Hotel. There are 30 rooms in total and each one is individually themed in their funky, bold and kitsch signature style – you can choose from everything from the seventies inspired “Honky Tonk Afro Room” to the Hollywood star homage “Monochrome Marilyn”.

The brother and sister owners of this wonderfully quirky London abode are actually very well connected with the fashion world, and models and celebrities visit the place pretty frequently but amazingly the staff were still very friendly and down to earth. Although arguably the best thing about this funky place is that it has a fabulous central location (only a short distance from Hyde Park and Oxford Street), for very reasonable prices…and of course that you might just get the chance to bump into your favourite celebrity during your stay!

The Wesley – an eco and ethical haven in London

A cool eco hotel in London

In our book, anything eco and ethical is big news! Enter the Wesley Hotel, an independent and highly regarded hotel in central London which is the first ethical hotel in the UK. The trendy 4-star hotel is committed to sustainable business and social responsibility and was once awarded the Social Enterprise Mark, the only hotel in London to earn this. Housed in a redbrick art deco building, only a very short distance from Euston Underground Station (so very close to all London’s central attractions) the hotel offers sleek and spacious modern rooms with hypoallergenic beds and rainfall showers, as well as flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi.

The hotel’s other highlight is the wonderful onsite restaurant that serves European/Asian/African fusion cuisine but of course, this being an ethical hotel, expect ethically sourced food from sustainable suppliers, artisan producers, and free-range family-run companies. Only fish from a non-endangered species feature on the menu and they also have a commitment to reducing carbon footprint and food miles, recycling and including Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, and biodegradable products. Very impressive!

Stylotel – a funky, futuristic budget hotel in London

Stylotel - a funky, futuristic budget hotel in London

Stylotel - a funky budget hotel in London

If you are looking for a lower-priced central 3-star London hotel that doesn’t look and feel cheap and run down, then Stylotel is a really great option. A modern futuristic design hotel with ultra-stylish rooms this place is a zillion light years away from a traditional London budget hotel. The hip accommodation occupies a classic Victorian townhouse in the leafy central neighbourhood of Paddington and only a 2-minute walk distance from Paddington Underground station which will take you to Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, and Soho via the tube in 15 minutes.

All the rooms and suites feature wow-inducing aluminium wall coverings, ceiling to floor mirrors and illuminated glass furniture. The bathrooms, flat-screen Tv’s and the kitchenettes make it a perfect place for longer stays without blowing your holiday budget. I also loved the mood-lit communal area which purposefully resembles an airport lounge – quirky indeed!

More cool, unique and trendy hotels in London

More cool, unique and hip hotels in London

  • The Ned – One of London’s newest wow-inducing hotels set in a former bank HQ in the City from £200pn
  • Number Sixteen Hotel – Gorgeous eclectic boutique hotel with a fairytale garden in South Kensington from £110pn
  • The Nadler Soho – Upscale boutique hotel housed in the 17th-century mansion that inspired Charles Dickens from £160pn
  • The Regent’s Park Apartments – Stylish family and pet-friendly apartments in a central location from £90pn
  • Hazlitt’s Popular and beautiful boutique hotel in buzzing Soho with a plethora of romantic period from £190pn
  • The Mondrian – This ultra-chic cruise ship-inspired hotel overlooking the River Thames on South Bank is an Instagrammer’s dream! from £170pn
  • Club Quarter’s Trafalgar Square Grand upscale hotel set in a stately 19th-century building from £140pn
  • The Portobello Hotel Elegant boutique hotel housed in a 19th-century townhouse near Portobello market from £140
  • Blakes Hotel – A prestigious Chelsea located hotel designed by a former Bond girl with a very pretty courtyard from £200pn
  • Citadines Trafalgar Square – Stylish and modern apartment hotel in a fabulous central location from £160
  • Hotel 41 – One of the most extraordinary and beautifully designed hotels in London from £300pn

We also have posts on…


Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.


  • Avatar

    karen rodriguez

    6 March, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I’d like to visit soho hotel because it looks more comfortable, includes more services and of course is more modern.

  • Avatar


    2 August, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    These hotels have really touched on everything that I would expect from a hotel in London. They are very sleek, yet have an air of romance and of course many of them also feature Victorian architecture. When people go to London, I am sure many of them (especially tourists) want to feel like a king or queen; and of course they can get that if they choose the right place to stay. I myself really like the Rough Luxe. It just seems sort of grungy, but also Victorian in many respects.

  • Avatar

    Kash Bhattacharya

    21 July, 2010 at 8:38 am

    An impressive list of places-have stayed at Hoxton and even if you can’t grab one of their £1 hotel offers you can get rooms for £29 or £59 booking in advance.

    Zetter is the other place I have stayed and reviewed-beautiful hotel with lots of nice features especially their own bottled water, bit of a miracle given how poor water quality is in London…..

    Have to bookmark your site and have a gander later…

    Hello from Kash aka @budgettraveller

  • Avatar


    5 July, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Wow Becky, what a fantastic post!

    I love the Hoxton Hotel and have been lucky enough to snag a £1 room again this round. Looking so forward to my stay!

    Thanks for great ideas from all around town!

    Kathryn @Travelfusion

    • Avatar

      Becky Moore

      5 July, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      Hey thanks Kathryn glad you like it! I’m impressed you managed to get a room in the Hoxton room sale. I’ve signed up now and hoping for the best!

      • Avatar


        12 July, 2010 at 9:07 am

        Good luck to you! Our stay was this past Saturday and couldn’t have been better. It’s a great spot and it doesn’t hurt that the prices are so reasonable and the rooms so nicely decorated!

        Fingers crossed you get a room in the next round!

        Kathryn @Travelfusion

Leave a Reply